Halifax coach Richard Marshall is resigned to being without star forward Adam Tangata until April after the Cook Islander underwent surgery on his foot.
Tangata was a notable absentee as Fax’s players assembled for the start of pre-season training last week, with Marshall confirming he had gone under the knife to finally fix the foot injury that dogged him at the end of this year.
Tangata, who came to England from the NSW Cup at the start of Marshall’s reign, had been expected to move to Super League for 2018, with Wakefield Trinity the favourites for his signature, but opted to stay with Fax for a fourth season.
“Adam had ruptured a ligament in his foot, so he’s basically had the top and bottom halves of his foot screwed back together,” said Marshall, who was philosophical about losing a key figure for the opening two months of the Championship season.
“He is in a cast, then a boot, then he gets the screws taken out, then he needs to rehab from that, so the initial suggestion is that it’s a 16 week injury.
“It’s not ideal, because he’s an important player, but I’m okay with it and Adam is okay with it.
“We had a similar scenario with young Brandon Moore this year and he came back at the same kind of time and had a big influence on our season.”
Tangata is not the only player to have had surgery, with both back rower Shane Grady and utility player Ed Barber on the road to recovery after minor interventions.
Marshall also reported that talented centre or half back James Woodburn-Hall, who was absent from June onwards, initially with England Students commitments and then with injury, is back in full training.
“Shane’s had a clean out of his knee and Ed’s had a clean out of his knee and his elbow,” said Marshall.
“James is training fully again, so he’s on course to get a full pre season under his belt.”